Popcorn, crackers, even cold cereal- may be much better for you than nutritionists first thought. In the past, most researchers said the fiber boost from these whole grain foods was their best benefit, but food experts now say they are helping your health in surprising new ways.
Researchers say some munchies may be better for you than you think. Joe Vinson, Ph.D., is a food chemist at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Vinson and fellow researchers have analyzed the nutritional content of plant-based foods looking for specific substances called polyphenols.
“They are antioxidants of a special kind, these polyphenols, they are better in a test tube at preventing free radical damage
Free radicals are molecules in the body that can damage healthy cells. Antioxidants are substances in food that flush free radicals. Vinson’s research shows polyphenols may be more effective than antioxidants. He and his colleagues measured the amount of polyphenols in liquefied whole grains and found some breakfast cereals and even snack foods were surprisingly high. Popcorn is at the top of the list “It’s one-hundred percent whole grain. It’s the only thing you can eat that’s 100 percent whole grain unprocessed,” Dr. Vinson said.
With commercial cold cereal, the fewer the ingredients, the better. Raisin bran tested the highest- followed by cereals made with wheat, corn, oats, and then rice. Top five foods with anti-oxidant value, coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas and dry beans. So parents who can’t always get fruit and veggies in their kids- may now have some other healthy choices.
Polyphenols in fruits and vegetables are widely thought to help fight heart disease and cancer. This first study may eventually add cereals and whole grain snacks to that list. Secondary school students have better for this food and make more aware about this by introducing it in their science learning tests. It is very interesting and healthful.